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Strawberries (Fragaria) are one of the most popular types of fruit in this country. They are popular with young and old alike. The fruity-sweet to slightly sour berries can be harvested as early as the beginning of June, depending on the weather and the degree of ripeness of the different varieties. A strawberry bed should therefore not be missing in any garden. Planting strawberries is not that difficult. Here are some tips for the right planting, then nothing stands in the way of a rich harvest every year.

planting time

The best time to plant is usually in late summer until fall, more precisely from mid-July to the end of August. The plants need a lot of warmth to grow well and survive the winter unscathed. If the plants are planted too late in the fall, they can quickly rot. Autumn planting also lays the foundation for a rich harvest in the following year.

However, if the planting time in autumn was missed, perhaps because the bed had not yet been prepared, planting can still take place in spring. Planting should then be completed by April at the latest. The earlier, the better the harvest in the first year.

A brief overview of all planting dates:

  • Optimal from July to August, especially for strawberries that bear fruit several times
  • September, new plantings still possible in mild regions
  • March to April, when summer planting has been missed, mainly monthly and climbing strawberries
  • May to mid-June is the best time for planting frigo plants

tip: Frigo plants are normal strawberry plants that are lifted from November to February and then stored in cold storage at -2 °C to artificially prolong the winter. The first harvest can be expected exactly eight to nine weeks after planting.

quality of the seedlings

Only high-quality young plants should be planted. These must have a strong heart bud, at least three healthy leaves and a stable root system. Strawberry plants are commercially available in three forms.

green plants

  • packed in waterproof plastic bags
  • thus keeping it fresh for a long time
  • If not planted immediately, loosen the foil slightly and keep the plants moist (damp kitchen towel)
  • if planted in August, good yield the following year
  • susceptible to drought

Frigo or frost plant

  • are already a year old
  • Clearing in winter and subsequent storage at -2 °C
  • available from March to August
  • Further storage at home in the refrigerator at 0 °C is possible
  • best planting time April to mid-June
  • first fruits after eight to nine weeks
  • staggered planting can extend strawberry season in the first year

potted plants

  • most expensive alternative
  • Young plants grown in soil substrate usually relatively small
  • well rooted ball
  • packed in plastic containers
  • still sensitive to frost, so do not plant too early in spring
  • if necessary protect from the cold, even when planting in autumn
  • if planted early, very good yields in the following year
  • if planted in spring, low yields in the same year

Before planting, you must always water all strawberry plants extensively so that they can still draw enough water.

Observe crop rotation

Strawberries are very sensitive to reproduction. In other words, you should never plant in a spot where strawberries or even potatoes were just growing. There must be a period of at least four years between plantings. Otherwise, soil fatigue may occur. The soil is leached out on one side and soil pests such as nematodes can settle unhindered. For example, vegetables with a short cultivation period such as

  • Kohlrabi
  • salad or
  • radish

tip: Crop rotation is a chronologically alternating cultivation of crops on one and the same soil. This sustainably restores and maintains soil fertility.

Plant strawberries in mixed culture

Three years after planting at the latest, the yields and quality of strawberries then decrease continuously, with light soils after two years. Then it's time to change location. In order to keep an overview, a written cultivation plan is extremely helpful.

Alternatively, strawberries can also be grown in rows in intercropping. After three years, only the row has to be changed. As neighbors for strawberry plants are particularly suitable

  • Garlic with its bactericidal and fungicidal effects
  • Onions, leeks and chives are good against fungal diseases, spider mites and snails
  • Borage to promote flowering
  • Marigolds and marigolds against nematodes and wireworms

site selection

Before you start planting, it is important to find the optimal location, because this is crucial for successful cultivation. The light and soil conditions must be taken into account.

  • full sun, the sunnier the sweeter the fruits
  • wild strawberries and monthly strawberries thrive in partial shade
  • Sheltered from the wind, but not windless
  • Foliage must dry quickly after rain to avoid leaf diseases
  • loose, humus and nutrient-rich, deep soil
  • compacted soils promote root diseases
  • no waterlogging and weeds
  • Soil must not be freshly dug
  • pH of the soil 5.5 to 6.5 (slightly acidic)
  • consideration of crop rotation
  • welcome pre-fruits: lettuce, parsley, kohlrabi, radishes

soil preparation

Normally, strawberries will thrive in any good garden soil, provided the soil has been thoroughly prepared for planting strawberries:

  • Dig up the ground deeply with a digging fork at least 14 days before planting
  • Alternatively, the bed for spring planting can be prepared in late autumn
  • Then use a cultivator to bring in humus or leaf compost, peat moss or rotted manure (4-5 litres/m²) and 30 g horn meal
  • work everything flat into the ground
  • alternatively, a special complete strawberry fertilizer can also be used
  • 6 to 8 kg are required for 100 m²
  • Spread the complete fertilizer and work it well into the soil
  • in the case of perennial crops, the application of fertilizer must be repeated annually after the harvest
  • in heavy soils to loosen up the incorporation of compost or sand
  • Improve sandy soils with compost or rock dust (clay dust).
  • adding basalt powder helps with damp soil
  • Leave the soil to rest for 14 days after tilling to allow the soil to settle
  • then rake the bed smooth

Once the soil has been tilled, nothing stands in the way of planting. At most one more thing, with potted plants, the root ball must be well watered before it is planted in the ground. Bare-rooted plants should stand in water for a few hours.

planting

Strawberries should be planted when the soil is moist and not necessarily when the heat is declining. Plants that do not get into the ground immediately must then continue to be stored in a cool place and moistened at intervals. It is always important row spacing, so that there is enough space when harvesting. This depends on the duration of cultivation and the size of the bed.

  • 50 cm row spacing for annual crops and 20 cm between plants within the row
  • in perennial culture, row spacing of 50 to 80 cm (but at least 60 cm) and within the row 30 to 35 cm between plants
  • Too small distances promote diseases and pests

The following must also be taken into account when planting:

  • Dig the planting hole deep, roots must have space without being compressed
  • in the case of potted plants, dig out at the height of the pot
  • Plant bare-rooted plants vertically in the planting hole, they must have space to spread
  • Do not set plants too deep or too high
  • The heart of the plants must be just above the surface of the earth
  • Fill in the soil and press down firmly
  • water well
  • use rainwater whenever possible
  • if dryness persists, water in the morning and evening
  • spreading straw between plants, removal after harvest
  • Straw offers protection against weeds and snails, keeps moisture in the soil and fruit does not lie on the ground

The growth period lasts approximately 10 to 14 days. The soil must be kept moist during this time. But even after that, the soil must not dry out completely.

tip: For self-pollinating strawberries, you should always plant different varieties, both early and late, in combination to extend the harvest time and increase yields.

Culture in pots and tubs

Strawberries can also be wonderfully cultivated as potted plants on balconies and terraces. Robust, everbearing plants that can be harvested well into October are particularly suitable for this

  • camera
  • Cupid
  • siskeep

However, you should note the following:

  • sunny location
  • Pot at least 20 cm in diameter and as deep
  • There must be water drainage holes, install drainage (expanded clay).
  • Potting soil with organic fertilizer
  • winter frost-free in a cool, dark place in the first year
  • don't forget to water
  • Cut back plants in autumn so that fruit appear in subsequent years

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